I’m not going to lie to you. I burned the first batch. It was as hard as a rock and the peanuts were way beyond toasted. That’s what I get for following a recipe. But I learned my lesson and, hopefully, you will all benefit from my mistakes!
This is the first recipe that I have put in the ‘medium’ category as far as difficulty goes. It is all very simple, but if you take your eye off the candy thermometer for one second, you have just made a doorstop and not some delightful nutty brittle.
Mandatory items to make your life as a candy magician possible: silicone baking sheet or silicone baking board, silicone spatula, and a decent candy thermometer. I spent $13 whole dollars on my Sur La Table candy thermometer, so you know money is no object for me when it comes to sweets. Obviously.
Put your sugar, water, and light corn syrup into a heavy bottom sauce pan. Stir while bringing to a boil. Once boiling, turn temperature down to medium heat and keep an eye on your thermometer as it begins its climb to 275 degrees. This should take about 30-40 minutes. Make sure that your thermometer is about halfway in and not touching the bottom of your pan.
When it reaches 275 degrees, pour in your peanuts and stir. Keep an eye on the temperature, because it will get to 285-290 degrees before you know it. Take it off the heat as soon as it gets to 285. (I realize that everyone says that it should stay till hard crack stage, which is 300 degrees, but I think that is way too hard. The only person who likes that consistency is your dentist because they are guaranteed $1000 to fix your cracked tooth.)
As soon as you remove the pan from the heat, stir in the 2 tbsp. of butter. When incorporated, stir in vanilla. You will hear it all sizzle and bubble up. I think they call it a scientific reaction. Just wait until you put in the baking soda. Whoa Nellie! Sprinkle the baking soda on top and stir in. That sucker will foam up like crazy! Mix well and pour the whole bubbly mess onto your silicone baking sheet. Work quickly spreading it out with your spatula. Spread it out as thin as you can. Your teeth will thank you.
Mine could have been thinner.
That didn’t stop me from eating it. Not even a little bit.
12/11/2013: I had to add this super cool and creative ‘comment’ I received from my pal and co-worker, Jason. I hope it means that he’ll be my Peanut Brittle Buddy forever…..or at least until the peanut brittle runs out.
- 2 c. white sugar
- 1 c. white corn syrup
- 2 c. peanuts (salted, roasted, unsalted: your choice)
- 1/2 c. water
- 2. Tbsp. butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in heavy bottom sauce pan.
- Bring to a boil, then lower to medium heat.
- Cook to 275 degrees.
- Add peanuts. Stir. Bring to 285 degrees.
- Remove from heat immediately.
- Add butter, vanilla, then baking soda (last).
- Pour quickly onto silicone baking sheet, spreading to desired thickness.
- Cool completely and crack.